English Language Proficiency and Early School Attainment Among Children Learning English as an Additional Language

Katie Whiteside, Debbie Gooch, Courtenay Norbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Downloads (Pure)


Children learning English as an additional language (EAL) often experience lower academic attainment than monolingual peers. In this study, teachers provided ratings of English language proficiency and social, emotional, and behavioural functioning for 782 children with EAL and 6,485 monolingual children in reception year (age 4-5). Academic attainment was assessed in reception and Year 2 (age 6-7). Relative to monolingual peers with comparable English language proficiency, children with EAL displayed fewer social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties in reception, were equally likely to meet curriculum targets in reception, and were more likely to meet targets in Year 2. Academic attainment and social, emotional, and behavioural functioning in children with EAL is associated with English language proficiency at school entry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalChild Development
Early online date20 Sept 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Sept 2016

Cite this